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© 2018 Pitch'd Groundhopping

GROUND // Ter Elst Stadion - KFC Eendracht Zele

With Lokeren, Hamme, Dendermonde and Wetteren surrounding Zele, there is quite some competition. But Eendracht Zele always stood its ground and managed to experience a wonderful football life in the Belgian leagues.



In 1925 Zele first saw football by the creation of Katholieke Sportopbeuring Football Club Scela. One year later they joined the Belgian FA as FC Scela Zele. Another year later Sportkring Zele was founded as well. In 1929 however Scela Zele left the Belgian FA for the East Flemish FA. They rejoined in 1932 and received a new matricule number. After becoming royal teams in 1951 and 1952 it was Scela Zele that first reached the national divisions in 1956. For more or less a decade they stayed there.



In 1968 a third team was created in Zele, FC De Zeven Zele. Two years later the three clubs decided to join forces and become KFC Eendracht Zele. The oldest matricule number (from KSK Zele) survived and the team continued in fourth division (where KFC Scela Zele was playing). The merger was an immediate succes and in 1973 the club managed to reach third division for the first time ever. All throughout the 70s and 80s Eendracht survived in third division with highs and lows.



In 1992 however, they relegated back to fourth division after almost two decades in third division. In 1996 they briefly returned, but one year later it was fourth division again. And that's when bad things started to happen. In 1998 they relegated to the regional leagues and for the first time in more than 40 years Zele didn't have any national football. For eight years they struggled to get back where they belong. After seeing dark clouds in the second highest regional league they returned to fourth division in 2006.



Apart from one year in the regional leagues in 2011, Eendracht mainly played fourth division (with even one season back in third division in 2014). But it's all happening very fast for Eendracht. In 2017 they went back to the regional leagues and this year they just nearly missed promotion to the national divisions. It's clear their ambition is to go back as soon as possible.



Like many others in their neighbourhood Zele has a nice looking stadium; typically for those teams that play the lower national leagues on a very regular basis. This can definitely be added on a tour together with clubs in Lokeren, Hamme, Wetteren and Dendermonde.